Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is one of the most prevalent functional gastrointestinal disorders noted in the general population worldwide. Let’s look at IBS symptoms and Ayurvedic treatments and remedies for IBS.
This condition used to be known by other names like mucous colitis, spastic colon, spastic bowel, and irritable colon syndrome. Some forms of IBS have also been termed as spastic colon and idiopathic or nervous diarrhea in the past.1
IBS occurs more frequently in people under the age of 50.
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is characterized by symptoms like recurrent abdominal discomfort in association with alternating episodes of diarrhea and constipation or a combination of both.
This condition is also associated with mucous discharges along with the irregular bowel movements.
The following are the most commonly experienced IBS symptoms.
It is said that a combination of both physiological and psychosocial factors are usually responsible for IBS.
There is some evidence that IBS may be a serotoninergic (5-HT) disorder, as demonstrated by a relatively excessive release of 5-HT in diarrhea-predominant IBS (D-IBS) and relative deficiency with constipation-predominant IBS (C-IBS). 5-HT are receptors for serotonin.
Poorly coordinated signals between the brain and the intestines can cause the body to overreact to changes that normally occur in the digestive process, resulting in pain, diarrhea or constipation
Strong contractions of intestinal muscles that last longer than normal can cause gas, bloating and diarrhea. Weak intestinal contractions can slow food passage and lead to hard, dry stools.
Some of the probable causes for IBS include a host dietary factors like short-chain carbohydrates (lactose, fructose, and sorbitol, among others), collectively known as FODMAPs (fermentable oligo-, di- and monosaccharides, and polyols), gluten and food preservatives like salicylates or benzoates, can cause food intolerances.
Some of the probable causes for IBS include a host dietary factors like short-chain carbohydrates, gluten, and food preservatives
Such foods intolerances lead to classic IBS symptoms like bloating, pain, abdominal distention, feeling of heaviness, and altered bowel habits.
Lactose intolerance also very common which causes above symptoms especially manifest as gurgling sound and urge to defecate immediately after ingestion.
Alcohol is like poison to cells. Its initial contact with the lining of the bowel may cause some cellular damage. Damaged cells result in inadequate digestion, followed by diarrhea and IBS.
Coffee, tea, colas, and chocolate are all can cause IBS, as they stimulate muscular contractions and can sometimes even cause diarrhea.
Spices may also irritate the bowel. In some cases, it may be due to food allergies or food poisoning.
Diarrhea may also be a symptom of vitamin deficiency e.g. niacin, B-12 or folic acid.
The disorder has no definitive treatment but could be controlled by eliminating some exacerbating factors such as certain drugs, stressor conditions and changes in dietary habits.
Probiotics like yogurt and buttermilk have been shown to convey positive effects on intestinal motility, sensitivity and pain relief in IBS.
Eat old rice, corn (gluten-free), jawa, quinova, muesli, gourd, coriander leaves, lentil, green grams soup, black pepper, dried ginger, wood apple, pomegranate, nutmeg, skimmed milk, buttermilk, hot water, rest, adequate sleep.
Avoid wheat, maize, barley, pigeon pea, pea, cowpea, gram, kidney bean, potato, chili, oily food, chicken, red meat, crabs, prawns, fish, leafy vegetables like sorrel, drum stick, carbonated and fermented drinks, daytime sleep, awakening at night, tension, suppression of urges before bed.
In Ayurveda, there is a condition called grahani roga (duodenum disorder) and its symptoms very closely resemble those of IBS (irritable bowel syndrome).
Ayurveda says that this disease is due to the vitiation of agni(digestive fire/enzymes). It is understood that agni mandhya (low digestive fire) and manas (mind) are involved in this condition.2
Grahani is considered to be the seat of the body’s agni and is called so because it stores the food and releases after it gets digested. (grahani here is the duodenum)
However, when it is disturbed due to a weak digestive fire, it releases the ingested material as ama (undigested matter). Therefore, the disease is called grahani roga.
According to the renowned Ayurvedic scholar Charaka, grahani roga is a condition where bowel movements are irregular (diarrhea or constipation) without proper digestion.3
Another ancient Ayurvedic scholar Sushruta explained this condition as one having frequent evacuation of digested and undigested matter with irregular movements (diarrhea and constipation) with pain and a foul odor.
Agni (digestive fire) can get disturbed with excessive fasting, eating while having indigestion, overeating, irregularly eating.
It can also be disturbed by eating unsuitable, heavy, cold, too rough and contaminated food.
Other causes can be emaciation due to some disease, inability to adapt to your environment, time, and season, wrong administration of medicines and suppression of natural urges.
Types Of Grahani Roga
Classical Ayurvedic literature mentions the following four types of grahani roga as per the associated symptoms.4
Relaxation techniques like meditation and yoga nidraare found to be useful for irritable bowel syndrome.
Other Ayurvedic ghrita(clarified butter) preparations found to be effective for this condition are the following.
Herbal Ayurvedic formulations including decoctions, powders, medicated ghee(another name for clarified butter), and fermented formulations are advised for this condition.
A well-monitored panchakarma session including vamana (medicated emetics), virechana( medicated purgation) oil and basti(decoction enema) according to the condition of the individual can be effective.
Please consult a qualified Ayurvedic practitioner before trying any of the remedies, herbs, or treatments for irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) mentioned in this article.
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